Why won't you just do what I ask!!
Last Sunday I sat on a horse in the riding school for the 1st time. Just started an introductory horseback riding course for beginners. I was a bit nervous, I was especially afraid that I would fall off the horse.
The instructor explained it very clearly.
Pulling the reins means that your horse has to stop.
Pressing your knees means that your horse has to start walking.
And whatever I did, and whatever I said, I only saw those ears go back, but that was all. He heard me, but he probably thought: I'm just going to do what I want.
I was in charge in that situation. But not really. After all, I was being a bit clumsy and that horse just wouldn’t move. It was powerlessness what I felt then. Just pure, unadulterated powerlessness.
I immediately had to think back to my work, when I had to manage a team for the first time.
At the office you sit behind a desk and you are expected to lead a team.
But what do you do when you give someone an assignment and the response is: “You can do that yourself too”?
In the riding school, you take a seat on a saddle and you are expected to lead a horse.
But what to do if your horse won't walk, if you tell it to?
Leadership is difficult. In the riding school, but also at work. Even the most experienced manager will agree to that.
And in both cases I wanted to scream: why won't you just do what I ask!!
Dear reader, I'll spare you the rest of my day at the riding school, but I must confess that horses are great mirrors. Mirrors for your behavior. And mirrors for the way you communicate. I can advise every manager to take a seat on a horse. To just experience what it feels like to be taken out of your comfort zone.
If it doesn't do what you ask, what do you do? Do you get irritated? Are you trying to be super sweet at first? Are you going to raise your voice afterwards? And would you do the same at the office?
Horseback riding: a great mirror for your behavior at work, don't you think?